Steve Photoman Hayes is a professional photographer, skilled, creative and unique to his art form.  Steve Photoman Hayes is asked almost daily several questions;

  • We are friends, how much is it going to cost me for a shoot?
  • We are friends, if I book a shoot for a friend, how much will it cost them?
  • I don’t have any money but would love family portraits done?
  • Can you give me a mates rates?

While this work is fun, highly addictive and of course, exceptionally creative and rewarding, it must pay the bills to survive.

What Bills Do A Photographer Have?

This question can be answered with endless answers, from the basics of electricity through to fuel to time and how much does one pay for knowledge?

Let’s go through a rough but detailed list of expenses for a photo shoot;

  • Telephone Connection (Mobile or Landline)
  • Internet For Communication (Email/Social Media/Research)
  • Computer (Communication/Editing/Storing/Transferring)
  • Camera (Regardless of model, brand a photographer needs one)
  • Lens (Lenses are usually more expensive than the camera bodies themselves)
  • Flash Units (Wireless, Corded, Soft Boxes, Light Boxes etc)
  • Memory Cards
  • Vehicle (The Ownership, Insurance to cover the camera/computer transportation, fuel, wear and tear)

This is the basics of expenses, however, the one that is not listed but is equally important is electricity, you could break it down to hourly, minute or anything you wish, however, electricity most people think of as residential power, however, what electricity does a photographer require?

  • Power for a computer/laptop to edit photographs, depending on the shoot, volume and style will depend on the length of time required for the editing process, as we all know, electricity is expensive.
  • Power for Camera(s), when you carry 2 to 3 camera with 3 to 4 batteries per camera, you need to ensure that each of these batteries are fully charged, approximately 1 hour per battery to fully charge on a rapid charge, so that equates to 12 hours of charging if you are preparing for the unknown of a session, which is quite normal for a photographer to do, a small session often converts to a much larger session.
  • Power to charge flash batteries
  • Power for internet connection (without internet, you would never have been able to initially contact the photographer
  • Power for mobile phone (a phone needs to be charged)

There Are Photographers Charging $50 For Portrait Sessions How?

Most (not all) cheap photographers may charge $50, however, the quality, resolution and business model should speak for itself.  We will go into this topic later in another blog post, however, often you will find the portfolio or gallery is made up of friends photos or lack consistency in style.

Conclusion And What Are We On About?

So as you can see, without going into a great deal of detail, a photographers behind the scene cost is not just a matter of get up and go, there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes, for this reason, we can no longer offer “mates rates” or “free” sessions unless there is a benefit to us.  A benefit is not necessarily a financial benefit, it could be exposure or marketing position that would benefit our business model.